Kenny Stewart wasn’t sure he would see his ninth birthday.
Diagnosed with brain cancer, Stewart spent several months in the hospital not knowing if he would be able to live the life other boys his age enjoyed.
Monday night, the Robinson Elementary student grinned from ear to ear as he donned a party hat in celebration of another birthday during the Relay for Life survivor dinner at First Baptist Church in Dawsonville.
Hugging her son who has since regained the weight he lost while sick, Ana Miles confessed a “miracle” has happened.
“The cancer’s gone,” she said. “He’s better and going back to school.”
Stewart, one of several young cancer survivors at the dinner, will be on hand Friday night for the county’s 14th annual Relay for Life.
This year’s birthday-themed event begins at 7 p.m. Friday and runs until 7 a.m. Saturday at Dawson County High School.
Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s signature activity, raises money for cancer research.
About 20 teams, many which have spent the last year raising funds for the cause, have signed up to participate, said John Cronan, local committee chairman.
“We’re hoping for a really big turnout this year and for the weather to cooperate and let us have the event outside,” he said.
The event will feature almost two dozen booths offering everything from food and games to children’s activities, as team members take turns walking the track throughout the evening.
Keeping with the birthday theme, the Dawson County Woman’s Club will let the children decorate cupcakes and party hats to “bring on the birthdays,” said team captain Cindy Jensen.
“We’ve dedicated our efforts this year to several women in the club who are cancer survivors, as well as those in our club who lost that battle,” she said.
Luminaries honoring those who have lost the fight with cancer will be lit during a special ceremony at 9:30 p.m.